Methods of Paleo Training: Walking

encinomanWe are defined as a species by walking, as being upright on two legs allowed for our evolution into Homo-Sapiens. Our ancestors were primarily hunter gatherers, following herds of animals around the high-lands and low-lands. This required a slow paced movement as we would typically travel with everything that we owned. This travel, along with daily tasks like gathering and collecting, promoted our ancestors walking the distances of approximately 5-10 miles per day, and in some cultures further.

I really like Mark Sisson’s approach to movement/primal fitness in which he suggests to move slow frequently, lift heavy things and sprint here and there. “Moving slow frequently” or walking is probably the most primal thing we can do towards achieving a weight-loss goal, or reducing body fat. In this day and age we have so many wonderful modes of transportation that walking can sometimes be overlooked, as driving is so much quicker and easier.

I typically use walking as the primary source for cardio with my clients that have a weight loss goal. It is extremely low impact which is much appreciated by our joints. Also, based off of Respiratory Quotient (RQ) studies, in lower intensities of cardiovascular work, our body uses more fuel from our fat. I would typically program 3-4 days a week of a scheduled walk, whether that be in the gym on a treadmill, or outside enjoying nature. When my clients use a treadmill I typically tell them to increase the incline to 6-12% and maintain a pace of 2.5-3.5 mph, depending on ability. This will increase the heart rate into the 120-160 beats per minute which is great for the cardiorespiratory system and for fat loss. Sustaining this intensity for 30-60 minutes is recommended. When my clients walk outside I encourage them to keep a brisk pace for that 30-60 minutes and suggest they wear a heart rate monitor to ensure their heart rate is elevated into that 120-160 bpm range.

I assume all of you know what walking looks like so I put this video up because its awesome.

By Eddie Lester

Check out other Methods of Paleo Training:


Sleep Dammit










A client asked me recently if lack of sleep affects his training performance even though he doesn’t feel tire at the time of training.  The answer is YES, definitely.  Just because you are not tired at the time, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t screw up your body (to be more specific, your hormones).  Sleeping is the main key to fixing many health issues.

“Consistently skimping on sleep for even a week or two can have the same impact on our mood and performance as missing two full nights of sleep,” says Donna Arand, Ph.D., clinical director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Kettering Medical Center in Dayton, Ohio.  “Plus, it puts you at risk for diabetes and heart disease.”

A recent survey indicates that more than 60% of Americans have average less than 7 hours of sleep.  Ideally, 8 hours of sleep is good.  Missing 30 minutes to 1 hours can surprisingly lead to weight gain because your metabolism starts slowing and hormonal changes boost appetite and cravings.

If you miss 1 or 2 hours sleep, your mood will tank and often lead to anxiety, stress and/or depression.  Other research shows that after a couple nights of only 4 or 5 hours of rest, memory and attention span notably worsen.

If you miss 3 to 4 hours sleep, our


heart rate and blood pressure spike.  There’s also evidence that sleeping only 4 hours a night for just six days can impair your body’s ability to regulate blood sugar; therefore, more cravings and weight gain.

For many of our functional medicine’s patients, getting them to sleep better (at least 8 hours a night) eliminates more than half of their health issues.  One thing I noticed from our clients/patients who weren’t getting enough sleep was they had adrenal burn out or adrenal fatigue, which all lead to low cortisol and low testosterone.

So make sure you get yourself a good quality sleep every night.  Here are some suggestions:

1) Go to bed before midnight, (ideally before 10 pm) because between 10 pm to 2 am is the optimum time for hormonal regulation and repair process, everything that involves recovery.

2) Don’t work out at night because it raises cortisol and disrupts the sleeping pattern.

3) Don’t drink any drink containing caffeine such as tea, soda and coffee.

4) Turn all lights off, including computers.  Any small light can disrupt your sleep throughout the night.

5) Read a boring book (textbook) before going to sleep.

6) Drink chamomile tea.  It soothes and calms you down.

7) Take some supplements that help your sleep like melatonin, 5-HTP, and Gabba.

I hope these tips help. Getting a good night sleep makes your day goes by faster and your mood will be good.

“Stop sneaking by. Getting too little sleep is only cheating yourself”.


Author: Alicia Fong

Saturated Fat, Still the Enemy?

Nutritional health to this day has focused on a diet that is low in fat; specifically saturated fat. In recent years, nutritional research has been slowly uncovering the truth behind what saturated fat really does to body composition and body systems.

My view on saturated fat is to add it to every meal, in its purest forms (coconut oil and organic animal fats), to promote satiety. Using the most pure forms of saturated fat such as coconut oil help to decrease total body fat. This is because, when you eat saturated fats as part of your meal, they slow down absorption so that you can go longer without feeling hungry. In addition, they act as carriers for important fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K. Dietary fats are also needed for the conversion of carotene to vitamin A, for mineral absorption, and for a host of other biological processes. I found this article, written by Tim Ferris, the man who wrote The Four Hour Work Week and The Four Hour Body, while researching about this important topic.

These are the benefits Tim Ferris mentions in an article on September 9, 2009 regarding his book and saturated fat:

1) Improved cardiovascular risk factors Saturated fat plays a key role in cardiovascular health. The addition of saturated fat to the diet reduces the levels of a substance called lipoprotein (a) that correlates strongly with risk for heart disease. Research has shown that when women diet, those eating the greatest percentage of the total fat in their diets as saturated fat, lose the most weight.

2) Stronger bones Saturated fat is required for calcium to be effectively incorporated into bone. According to one of the foremost research experts in dietary fats and human health, Dr. Mary Enig, Ph.D., there’s a case to be made for having as much as 50 percent of the fats in your diet as saturated fats for this reason.

3) Improved liver health Saturated fat has been shown to protect the liver from alcohol and medications, including acetaminophen and other drugs commonly used for pain and arthritis.

4) Healthy lungs For proper function, the airspaces of the lungs have to be coated with a thin layer of lung surfactant. The fat content of lung surfactant is 100 percent saturated fatty acids. Replacement of these critical fats by other types of fat makes faulty surfactant and potentially causes breathing difficulties.

5) Healthy brain Your brain is mainly made of fat and cholesterol. The lion’s share of the fatty acids in the brain are actually saturated. A diet that skimps on healthy saturated fats robs your brain of the raw materials it needs to function optimally.

6) Proper nerve signaling Certain saturated fats, particularly those found in butter, lard, coconut oil, and palm oil, function directly as signaling messengers that influence metabolism, including such critical jobs as the appropriate release of insulin.

7) Strong immune system Saturated fats found in butter and coconut oil (myristic acid and lauric acid) play key roles in immune health. Loss of sufficient saturated fatty acids in white blood cells hampers their ability to recognize and destroy foreign invaders, such as viruses, bacteria, and fungi.

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